This breed is a favorite among toy dog breeds. The breed is also known as Miniature Maltese, Toy Maltese, and Mini Maltese. They are one of the most beautiful toy dog breeds and are bright, gentle, and friendly.
Teacup Maltese History
There is evidence that the Maltese dog's history can be traced back at least 2,000 years. It is based on documentation by poets, writers, and artists from the early cultures of Ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt.
Egyptians mentioned the Maltese on artifacts and the Greeks set up tombs for them. Some believed they had the ability to cure diseases which led to them being called "The Comforter." French aristocrats in the 15th century were especially fond of them.
The exact origin of the Maltese is not certain. Most believe that the breed was developed from Spitz, a spaniel type dog breed from the Isle of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. The breed showed up in the British Isles during the 16th century and was favored by Queen Victoria, Mary Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I.
At one time the breed was almost destroyed by breeders trying to get the dogs to be as small as a squirrel. Fortunately, breeders mixed various east Asian miniature dogs with miniature poodles and spaniels to create a new Maltese.
It is thought that today's Maltese are direct descendants of the Bichon Frise, Havanese, and Bolognese breeds. English breeders began breeding them in the 1800s. Maltese were featured in Westminster Kennel Club shows. They were registered by the AKC during the 1950s. Today they are popular at dog shows often winning in the Toy Group and "Best in Show" competitions.
Teacup Maltese Personality
This tiny breed is curious and quick moving. They are intimidated by larger dogs. It is important to keep them in a secure fenced-in area.
Some are confident and outgoing while others are more reserved. Individual personalities depend on training and socialization. Spoiling them can cause insecurity and over-dependence. They do well in agility and obedience training.
Some may be hard to toilet train. A litter box or doggy door leading to a potty yard may be necessary.
Coat and Grooming
The Maltese coat is white with some having a lemon or tan color on the ears. The hair is soft and silky. They should only be bathed about every three weeks. Blow dry after bathing. Brush them often to help cut down on matting.
Focus on frequently cleaning the face to avoid discoloration and "tear stains". This is a common issue.
Recommended cleaning schedule:
- face and eyes: clean with wipes two to three times daily
- full bath: every three weeks. coat wipe touch ups between baths as needed.
- nails: trim or file every five to six weeks
- teeth: Ideally, brush once daily
- ears: clean every four weeks.
Feeding your Teacup properly is important for its well-being. Feed according to age and activity level.
At the puppy stage, the bones and body are busy growing. Feed one ounce to 1.5 ounces equal to body weight once a day.
Do not free feed the dog past three months. As an adult, he will need less food. Feed only once a day. After age two, only feed him 1/2 an ounce per body pound daily.
Average weight: Two to four pounds
Life expectancy: Five years for teacups
Top 5 Routes for "Teacup Maltese"
- petmaltese.com This site has an overview and indepth details for Maltese grooming.
- puppytube.com Puppytoob lists common health concerns with tips for maximizing life expectancy.
- yourpurebredpuppy.com This site gives an honest review of the Maltese temperament along with training tips.
- petmaltese.com Learn all about the right kinds of treats to use for training and what to avoid.
- cuteness.com There are some differences between the Teacup and Toy Maltese. This site explains them.